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The Fixation of Belief 

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Manuscript Metadata

Resource ID




Contributed by

Frederik Wellmann

date (Robin)


type of material

A. MS.


Changes are indicated both in the margins and in the notes which were to be inserted in future editions of his earlier work. There is a clear indication where to insert some of the notes. With others (N, B, D, F, G, H, and those pages which are unmarked), there is no indication. The notes concern the fallibility of thinking, especially in mathematics (A) the distinction between definite and indefinite doubt, and the possibility of a third attitude of calm ignorance, whether conscious or unconscious, besides belief and doubt (C) the dependence of the validity of pure mathematics and of logic upon the validity of rational instinct, and the consequences of this for evaluating the a priori method of fixing belief (E) on Malthus and Darwin (B) the distinction between assertion and proposition and between modal propositions and the psychological modals "can" and "would" (D) the improvement of the standards of reasoning and the inward power of growth as reflected in the development of the instinct of just reasoning, with some remarks on Malthus and Darwin (F) the ultimate appeal to instinctive feelings (G) Descartes' mythical Eldorado of absolute certainty, and the attempt to attain it by methodological scepticism (H) the development of the intellect (N), and a preface to an essay on logic and reasoning, with a digression on theology (unmarked).

general index

A priori (see also Belief fixation of), Assertion (see also Judgment), fixation of Belief, Canbe, Certainty, Darwin Charles, Descartes RenĀ» ., Doubt, Doubt, definite and indefinite, Feeling, Growth (see also Evolution), rational Instinct, Logic (modal see Modality), Malthus Thomas Robert, Mathematics, pure Mathematics, "The Fixation of Belief", Pragmatism and Pragmaticism, Proposition, Psychology, instinct Rational, Reasoning (probable see also Probability), Scepticism, Theology, Thinking


Offprint from the Popular Science Monthly (G-1877-5a) with inserts: "A" (5 pp.), "B" (2 pp.), "C" (1 p.), "D" (pp. 1-3 1-7), "E" (2 pp.), "F" (pp. 1-3 1-7), "G" (2 pp.), "H" (2 pp.), "N" (2 pp.), unmarked (3 pp.)





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date (Robin)


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 Public : MS_0334
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